My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a spellbinding, touching and at times funny novel set in the mountains of upstate New York, a boy called Sam, who has run away from home, learns to live off the land, and grows up a little in the process.

What Ali Sparkes, author of Dark Summer and also the Shapeshifter series says of the title and its author:

JEAN CRAIGHEAD GEORGE - When I was nine our teacher read us My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George - the story of young Sam Gribley who runs away to the mountains to live on his own wits, armed only with a survival handbook and the peregrine falcon he trains to hunt for him. This brilliant book inspired the ‘survival’ and peregrine falcon elements of my Shapeshifter series…

To see Ali Sparkes’ 5 favourite children’s books click here

As My Side of the Mountain is a special order title, orders may take 2-3 weeks to process


My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Every kid thinks about running away at one point or another; few get farther than the end of the block. Young Sam Gribley gets to the end of the block and keeps going--all the way to the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. There he sets up house in a huge hollowed-out tree, with a falcon and a weasel as his companions, and his wits as his tool for survival. In a spellbinding, touching, funny account, Sam learns to live off the land, and grows up a little in the process. Blizzards, hunters, loneliness and fear all battle to drive Sam back to city life. But his desire for freedom, independence and adventure are stronger. No reader will be immune to the compulsion to go right out and start whittling fishhooks and befriending raccoons.

About the Author

Jean Craighead George

Jean Craighead Georgeean Craighead George was born in a family of naturalists. Her father, mother, brothers, aunts and uncles were students of nature. On weekends they camped in the woods near their Washington, D.C. home, climbed trees to study owls, gathered edible plants and made fish hooks from twigs. Her first pet was a turkey vulture. In third grade she began writing and hasn't stopped yet. She has written over 100 books.

Her book, Julie of the Wolves won the prestigious Newbery Medal, the American Julie of the Wolves Library Association's award for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children, 1973. My Side of the Mountain, the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain together, was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She has also received 20 other awards.

She attended Penn State University graduating with a degree in Science and Literature. In the 1940s she was a reporter for The Washington Post and a member of the White House Press Corps. After her children were born she returned to her love of nature and brought owls, robins, mink, sea gulls, tarantulas - 173 wild animals into their home and backyard. These became characters in her books and, although always free to go, they would stay with the family until the sun changed their behavior and they migrated or went off to seek partners of their own kind.

One summer Jean learned that the wolves were friendly, lived in a well-run society and communicated with each other in wolf talk -- sound, sight, posture, scent and coloration. Excited to learn more, she took Luke and went to the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, Alaska, where scientists were studying this remarkable animal. She even talked to the wolves in their own language. With that, Julie of the Wolves was born. A little girl walking on the vast lonesome tundra outside Barrow, and a magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a pack in Denali National Park were the inspiration for the characters in the book.

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Book Info




Jean Craighead George
More books by Jean Craighead George

Author's Website


Puffin Books

Publication date

1st January 1990




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